Delighted and now more informed about Counter-Terrorism in the UK, after having been invited to New Scotland Yard in Westminister to attend a presentation by The Metropolitan Police and newly appointed counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu.
I was surprised to learn how much is actually being done, and how much as a cohesive society we need to take part. Generally, I think we are quick to judge our policing requirements, where these days the threat is quite high.
Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare.
Are you clued up? if not, look up #ProjectGriffin
For anyone that has lost a parent or a loved one, this post is for you.
Seven years ago today, I received a phonecall in the early hours of the morning, from my kid sister “Dad’s not breathing”
Never have I shot out of bed so quick, in disbelief, shock and anguish.
At the time, I was in the Midlands, at university, writing my dissertation. It was during the journey back that I felt the most helpless, blasting down the M40, scrambling with phonecalls and incoherent messages, unable to influence any of the events that followed.
After a flitting of back and forth calls and text messages, I received the phonecall, the phonecall that confirmed Papa’s demise. There was so much white noise at the time, not sure if this was the call, my head or the hectic traffic that Tuesday morning. I struggled to comprehend the message, it was filled with cries, shrieks and mumbles. A friend of mine, that followed the ambulance in, took the phone and his words I will never forget… “I am so sorry bruv”
There was no coming back from that, like the disappearance of a gravity unknown. The undeniable sunk in and my world fell apart. I cried so hard. Time, as a concept, as a construct held no value from here onwards, this was the start of the longest journey of my life.
My beloved, now fiance, was driving, I remember catching a look on her face, trying to console me, whilst combatting the thick traffic, on a route untravelled, on a distance never before endured. What a warrior, my rock.
In a mad dash of desperation, my mind flicked back, to when my DaddiMa (paternal grandmother) suffered a heart attack years ago, in the ambulance outside her house. The paramedics revived her TWENTY minutes later. She survived and on this particular day, the history books witnessed a pain worse than all, the death of her child, she outlived her youngest son.
I held onto this idea of twenty minutes.. Come on, as a kid you were told, if you really want something it can happen… if you pray to god with a genuine heart, he will listen. I convinced myself, that within twenty minutes, I’d get another phonecall, one that overruled the last. I wiped my tears, sat up and with every ounce, drawing on every cell in my body I hoped and prayed and wished that this was some sick dream and I’d wake up in a fit of sweats.
The say a dog is a man’s best friend, boy did that hit home for me recently.
My best friend Hugo sadly went to sleep for the last time yesterday, my heart strings tug as I write this, my little baby, I’m going to miss him!
The coolest little Jack Russell, so much character and energy, a pure and gentle soul. He could do no harm.
You cannot compare the levels of companionship, a dog displays for you, unconditionally! My little buddy.
For whatever reason he came into my life and touched my heart, I am eternally grateful, he taught me so much and gave my family and I boundless joy. For such a tiny creature, he has left a big impact on me and those around me, he was nothing but smiles and happiness. I’ve been flicking through snaps, each brings back a fun time shared or a funny story about my silly Hugo.
Humans are so overrated, dogs do not judge you, and are always a companion, for they seek that connection. The understanding between 2 different species. I had a little friend in Hugo, he was my little boy.
We went on walks together and played ball and tug. Copious amounts of energy, such an excitable little dog, the quest for adventure and cute characteristics.
Just a few days ago, he did something he has never done before, he took the treats bag out of the carrier bag, took it to the garden, opened the wrapper and ate it, blissfully, without a care in the world…. When he saw me coming, he scrambled, tried to hide the wrapper. Caught him I did and gave him a right telling off. Oh how I feel so guilty now, that was the last treat he had from me.
“Kumee Kumee Janaa” which very roughly translates to “Do you want to go for walkies?” This Kumee was literally Hugo’s language, everyone that walked him, used it either to actually take him, or spark a reaction. and what a reaction it was, regardless of his mood, energy levels or indeed where inside the house he was, you just needed to say those words and he would self-summon.
The outside was an adventure, every single walk, his exploratory senses would burst. As soon as he heard the words, he was up, like a bolt, a few barks of appreciation and awaiting your prompt travel to the front passage, ready for his leash. If you took your time, a few more barks. Hugo doesn’t usually bark, he is a sensible dog, quiet and interested, his attention darts, looking at you, or that sound, when his ear props up, and he would sharply tilt his head.
Dog and Ball, if you mentioned this spherical object, he would go nuts!
Brings a smile to my face to think about the number of times, I would whisper “Where’s the ball” His face would light up, but because of the faint volume I so purposefully used, he wouldn’t be 100% sure, so waits and listens with an intent stare… “Where’s the ball” I tone up the volume, WOOF, he’s off, searching, barking, excited, we playing ball!! and off he would run. You wouldn’t even need to throw the ball, just the arm action was enough.
Here is a short snap from the garden, where we played countless times:
He formed unique relationships with everyone in the house and was able to lift the mood regardless of the situation.
Coming home from work or a long weekend to have the pitter patter of his paws on the wooden floor.
His excited tail wagging and even if you didn’t instigate, he would find a ball and bring it to you.. my buddy!
I found him a chew/tug toy online, this became his kryptonite, he could sink his teeth in and get a good lock, but never tear it. This really brought the animal out in him, so eager to tug and exercise his jaw.
He had so much perseverance and determination, if he wanted the toy, he was damm sure he was going to get it, either through his own might or plights for your help, here is him winning from the coffee table:
I could talk forever about his little quriks, love for cheese and epic chases of cats, you just had to say Billy (Cat in Punjabi) and he was on the case! My eyes are sore and deep down it hurts to know I am not going to be able to throw a ball for him or entice him with some halloumi, I’ve learnt lots from you Hugy, I wish you all the fun in little doggy heaven and hope you remember all the fun and games we had.
If we can all be loyal like a dog, protrude love and compassion and just enjoy each day, we will all be much better off.
This has been an emotional post, I just had to get something off my chest, my heart is heavy, but also brought me back a realisation I once knew; LIFE IS SHORT.
A few of my favourite pictures of my beloved Hugo:
Such a simple dog, with no worries in the world, just took each day as it came and lived a happy life, whereas we humans stress and strife. These creatures live for a lot less number of years than us and yet manage to be exuberant and honest. I’ve been putting off blogging for some time, but LIFE IS TOO SHORT.
This post or a few pictures and videos will never do justice to the memories Hugo has left us with, he will never fade, my best friend!
I know this was emotion fuelled.. my next post will be about PURPOSE, already in draft form… please sign up to the mailing list below to be kept up to date.
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